• Centennial High School senior Ashlee Neal will graduate on May 28 after overcoming health issues.

    Making it to graduation: Local seniors overcome life-threatening illnesses

    This is the first in a series of stories featuring local high school graduates. ASHLEE NEAL Ashlee Neal, a senior at Centennial High School, is graduating in the top 20 percent of her class with a 3.6 GPA next Thursday. But instead of going straight to college -- or in her case school to be an

  • Kern's jobless rate slides to 10.3 percent on farm hiring

    Kern County's unemployment rate dropped by almost one full point to a seasonally unadjusted 10.3 percent as local farming added more than 9,000 jobs in April, the state reported Friday. Last month's 22 percent surge in seasonal ag employment came amid a mostly stable jobs picture in Kern,

  • Destiny Swetnam, right, is hoping to land her first job and after securing at least one second interview at the 2015 Job Fest Thursday she is hopeful. She interviews with Karla Lyons with McDonald's during one of her interviews.

    Job fair offers hope to 2,500 job-seekers

    As she walked the aisles of Bakersfield's biggest annual job fair Thursday morning, taking note of several "very promising" prospects, Kelli Gilliam grew increasingly confident her five-month unemployment streak would soon come to an end. At the same time, she was surprised at how

  • Bakersfield High School students celebrated their college acceptances Wednesday in the school's annual College Signing Day.

    THE GRADE: Sikh women's group bestows first scholarship

    STUDENT BRAGS: The Bakersfield Sikh Women's Association, a local non-profit, awarded Ridgeview High School student Tarnpreet Kaur its inaugural $5,000 scholarship. Tarnpreet has a 4.5 GPA, works part-time and participated in at least seven different clubs and service organizations, said

  • Some areas of state highways will no longer be watered by Caltrans due to the current drought situation.

    Cal Water to hold informational drought meeting

    Facing a state mandate to reduce its water usage by 32 percent starting June 1, the California Water Service Co. will hold a public meeting Thursday night to educate its nearly 300,000 Bakersfield customers on conservation and new water regulations. An emergency city ordinance which took effect

  • Many community members came out to participate in the centennial celebration of the Baker Branch Library on Baker Street.

    Impartial survey first step to saving libraries, group tells advocates

    EveryLibrary, a nonprofit group dedicated to running library tax campaigns, visited Bakersfield Wednesday to talk about the future of libraries in Kern County. They left library officials and library supporters with the clear understanding that a quality, impartial survey of the Kern County

  • A pair of buds on a Wild Thailand marijuana plant are shown in this file photo.

    County eases 'excess' pot cultivation penalties

    Kern County will be more careful about how its local authorities punish medical marijuana patients who grow too much of their drug. Supervisors, on Tuesday, approved changes to the penalty section of an ordinance that limits the number of marijuana plants a patient can grow on a parcel of

  • Beale Memorial Library on Truxtun Avenue.

    Library coalition rep says she was heckled

    The issue of the Kern County library's privatization -- or outsourcing -- is proceeding through a clear public process. But conflict is heating up between county unions and the company that wants to take over operation of the county library system. Rachel Glauser, communications manager for

  • Making sure everything will be perfect, Jacqueline Flores tries on her graduation cap at home before heading over to Rabobank Convention Center to graduate with her Garces classmates. Flores is a fourth-generation graduate of Garces.

    One Garces grad in a long line of them

    Jacqueline Flores, a senior at Garces Memorial High, walked across a Rabobank Convention Center stage Tuesday, a fourth-generation graduate of the local private school. It was a long-planned day for Flores' mom, Moria Romero, who is also graduating this spring -- from Cal State Bakersfield.

  • Friends and Garces graduates Bridget Boylin and Tatum Bradford.

    Garces grads take the stage

    As soon as Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs Mike Susank issued a directive to not sound blow horns, an audience member lightly tooted one. The crowd chuckled. More than 140 graduates took their seats, and so began Garces Memorial High School's 68th annual graduation ceremony Tuesday at

  • The State Water Resources Control Board earlier this year got even tougher on water conservation because of the drought. The rules include restrictions on watering grass.

    Cutting water use by 36%? We’re far from there

    City water consumers -- now officially required by the state to use 36 percent less water -- actually used more of the precious substance in April than March, sparking expressions of deep concern from water board members Tuesday. Users on the city system -- about one-third of Bakersfield residents,

  • BPD investigators check the white Chevrolet Impala that led officers on a pursuit following a bank robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank branch located at 1300 22nd St. The chase ended at E. 18th and Owens streets where the suspect hit a tree. An officer-involved shooting occurred shortly after the suspect hit the tree. The suspect suffered at least one gunshot wound and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

    Suspected bank robber shot by police after chase

    A suspected bank robber was shot by police Tuesday morning after leading officers on a chase that ended when he crashed into a tree. The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, was struck by at least one gunshot and taken to a local hospital, police said. Officers were dispatched at 10:10

  • Supervisors enact water protection plan over opposition

    Kern County supervisors approved a plan Tuesday that is designed to protect water supplies in the desert around Ridgecrest. They acted in the face of heated opposition from those that believe the move is a violation of private property rights. But they said action had to be taken immediately to

  • City workers pick up a brimming recycling bin on Prairie Stone Place in this file photo.

    Council to hear of proposed trash, sewer fee hikes

    Sewer and garbage fee hikes for commercial and residential customers, part of the nearly $576 million proposed city budget, will get some attention Wednesday night when department heads make presentations about the new fiscal year to the Bakersfield City Council. Here's what you need to know

  • The State Water Resources Control Board has become even tougher on water conservation because of the drought.

    County will work on its own residential water restriction plan

    Kern County will consider creating a system of residential water restrictions similar to those approved by the city of Bakersfield. The plan could limit the days when property owners can water their landscaping and other rules designed to save water in California's severe four-year drought.